Today crowdfunding platforms are awash with ingenuity. Look no further than our own humble bubble to find bitchin’ mobile stitching workshops, the future of food and a refreshing way of delivering the news. But, it’s not only the bright sparks running campaigns that are sharing their brilliance with the world. As crowdfunding has evolved over the last stretch, interesting industry innovators have begun to emerge. Specialist platforms are filling gaps in many markets.
Abundance is giving communities in the UK an opportunity to move away from the grid and take control of their energy generation and consumption through community energy projects. Removing reliance in favour of renewables. Re-energising indeed.
Fundrise is cutting down the barriers to investing in property and in the process gives communities a voice to contribute to how their environments look and feel. Greater access, greater openness and greater involvement.
Kiva is creating connections that change lives. The core idea is to take the desire of many to alleviate poverty and rejig the way that this will be achieved. Kiva partners with socially-conscious microfinanciers around the world to connect third world entrepreneurs with ordinary people wanting to lend their money to worthy causes. What is truly amazing about the platform is that 98% of loans have been repaid, calling into question the selectivity of traditional modes of lending.
These platforms are creating new opportunities for engaged decision-makers to become more involved in the decisions that affect them and the world they are part of, and as a result create a stronger sense of worth, empowerment and ownership.
What other upcoming patterns do I see bubbling up within crowdfunding? I believe that governments will begin involving their crowds in the decisions that shape public infrastructure, allowing them to directly contribute to the funding of and benefit from the returns made by public projects. I think that the funding of programmes to combat social issues will turn toward crowds who want to be part of the remedy. I can see labour market disruption ahead, particularly with how skilled freelancers ply their trade.
Here at PledgeMe we’re taking inspiration from not only our courageous campaigners but also our fellow platforms who, like us (and Postman Pat himself), continue to push the envelope.
Opportunities for innovation in the crowdfunding space are aplenty and PledgeMe is so proud to be supporting innovation here in New Zealand.